This past Monday, we took our cat Mooch (the fellow below) to the vet to be put down. He would have been 12 in March. We’ve had him since May, 2008 (as you can see here) and he was sickly even back then, so I’m pleasantly surprised that we were able to hurse him along and provide a comfortable life for him for over 4 years.
Lately, he had been having some issues–it seemed like he had a infection or something–and we took him to our vet (who is great, by the way) just before New Year’s. She was quickly able to diagnose poor Mooch with inoperable (and very quickly-growing) tongue cancer, which would soon render him unable to eat. We took him home and pampered him and watched him. Mooch had always been skinny anyway, so we knew he wouldn’t last long without food, and there was no way we were going to let him starve to death. On the third day of him not eating, we took him back to Dr. Dahle.
Needless to say, we were rather sad at Casa de Kilgore, and I was surprised at how much it affected me. Mooch was “Joni’s cat,” not mine, and he sometimes honked me off to no end with his pissing in the house. His nose often dripped, he sometimes yakked up his dinner, and he had bad, flaky skin under that handsome tuxedo coat, all of which prompted Ally Jane to nickname him “Grody Cat.” He was skittish and had the habit of disappearing inside the house for hours at a time, only to be discovered hiding in some out-of-the way place.
He often liked to find a particular spot to sleep–a shelf in Ally Jane’s wardrobe, one of the clothes baskets in the laundry room, on the back of the futon–and spend several nights in a row there. Then he would find somewhere else for the next few nights, and so on. When he was feeling affectionate, he come over and give you the cat “headbutt of love” that they like to do, and then he’d quickly turn and stick his butt in your face as if to say, “Smell it! SMELL IT!” You can tell Joni has weird taste in housemates: look who she married.
For years, Mooch was an indoor cat, but this past spring, finally tired of his marking in the house, I let him out in the backyard (it had solved his predecessor Champy’s habit of doing that). Though Joni was worried that he’d be eaten by a fox or beaten up by the other neighborhood cats, Mooch loved it out there, spending most of the spring and almost all summer (several times, even overnight) perched out on our backyard fence, sunbathing. He was well-served by his cowardly nature, never straying far from the house and never getting into trouble. I hadn’t anticipated that he’d enjoy being outside so much, and I’m glad he got to experience that.
So now we are down to five pets: our other cats Clawdia and Gandalf; our three dogs Cookie, Cecilia, and Tequila (Tiki, for short). I hadn’t really wanted to own six animals, but like credit card debt, it had just sort of snuck up on me. We have no plans to replace Mooch, as five critters (not counting Ally Jane’s hermit crabs, who are totally low maintenance) is still more than enough. Still, I’ll miss him: I’m not yet at the point where I stop looking for him skulking around somewhere, out of the way.
So long, Moochie. It was nice looking after you.